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Three children are reported to have died after allegedly consuming a ‘cough syrup’ which was administered by a mohalla clinic run by the state government in the national capital, the Directorate of Health Services (DGHS) has mentioned in its enquiry report.
A total 16 children were admitted to the Kalawati Saran Children hospital of which three died.
“16 cases of Dextromethorphan poisoning were reported in Kalawati Saran Children hospital, New Delhi, out of which three children have expired in the hospital. These children were prescribed the Dextromethorphan drug by Mohalla Clinics of the Delhi government and the drug is strictly not recommended for paediatric age children. The drug was manufactured by Omega Pharmaceuticals …,” said the enquiry report.
In the letter, the DGHS has asked the Delhi government to issue a notice to all dispensaries and mohalla clinics “to not prescribe Dextromethorphan for children less than four years of age”.
The DGHS has also suggested “withdrawing the Dextromethorphan in larger public interest”.
Talking to IANS, Dr Chandra Mohan Kumar, Additional Professor, Paediatrics, AIIMS Patna, said, “Even though the drug is not recommended to be used in children younger than five years, this is still being used and is known to have CNS side-effects like blurring of vision, drowsiness, restlessness and irritability, but has never been reported to have such catastrophic side-effects. There may be further investigation into the reports. However, it seems that there may be the cases of overdosing of drugs in the kids.”